|Happy City, The - William Deneen Productions|
Sponsored by the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, Bill Deneen traveled three days by bullock cart to the remote leper colony run by Father Cesare Columbo in Ken Tung (Kyiang Tong), Burma. Intended to be a film to be used for fundraising, the film is a fascinating documentary about a humanitarian effort that would soon be terminated by the Burmese government, as shortly after the film was made, Columbo was deported, never to return...
Keywords: Burma; Myanmar; leprosy; Hansen's Disease; Cesare Colombo
Downloads: 70,926 (3 reviews)
|Frames of Reference - Richard Leacock|
This PSSC film utilizes a fascinating set consisting of a rotating table and furniture occupying surprisingly unpredictable spots within the viewing area. The fine cinematography by Abraham Morochnik, and funny narration by University of Toronto professors Donald Ivey and Patterson Hume is a wonderful example of the fun a creative team of filmmakers can have with a subject that other, less imaginative types might find pedestrian.
Keywords: physics; science; PSSC
Downloads: 70,568 (6 reviews)
|Baja California: the Pacific Coast of Mexico - Silas Johnson|
Johnson is another "lost filmmaker, who worked out of Coronado, California. This film boasts beautiful color footage of old Baja, before Pemex stations lined the Cuota and Libre. Hunt travels from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, enchantingly stopping at the waterless village of Magdalena Bay, Tortuga Bay, and the vineyards at Santo Tomás.
Keywords: Santa Tomas; Magdalena; Tortuga; Baja; Cabo San Lucas; Ensenada
Downloads: 38,888 (4 reviews)
|Basic Brown, Basic Blue - Homer Groening|
Ever wonder how Matt Groening of 'The Simpsons' got his quirky sense of humor? Probably from his filmmaker dad, Homer Groening, who passed away in 1996. Although known for his documentaries, Homer Groening directed and narrated this film, ostensibly about color, but filled with an ongoing series of bikini-clad bathing beauties. The film is perhaps best viewed as a graphic artifact that will interest media historians seeking additional insight into the elements that influenced the cartoonist.
Downloads: 35,537 (2 reviews)
|Cliché Family in Televisionland - MPO Productions|
This outrageous parody of the prototype 'commercial' family was apparently made as an in-house joke by one of the largest producers of television commercials. Their clients would have never seen this gem, which parodies products as well as the people that buy them.
Keywords: parody; advertisement; asian
Downloads: 33,697 (15 reviews)
|Iran - Claude Lelouch|
Far more than a travelogue with pretty pictures, this little-known film won six international awards shortly after its release. 'Iran' consists of spectacular geographical and archaeological footage interspersed with "slice of life" shots, evidencing best juxtapositional editing we've ever seen. This is a buried masterpiece from the director of 'A Man and a Woman,' 'Happy New Year,' and 'And Now My Love.' Lelouch reportedly shot six miles of footage to make this film, which apparently was sponso...
Keywords: Persia, Petroleum, Qashqai, nomad, Islam, mosque
Downloads: 31,685 (2 reviews)
|Solar System (2nd Ed) - Tom Smith|
Tom Smith headed up the Special Effects team at Industrial Light & Magic, where he created all the goodies for the 'Star Wars' films. This is his academic film masterwork, which took over a year to create, over 13 weeks to film, and utilized "traveling mattes," with as many as five separate films running in the background, showcasing wonderful models and graphics. About the making of the film, Tom Smith writes: "I made that film in 1976 with Richard Basehart as narrator and a classical music sco...
Keywords: space; universe; Industrial Light and Magic; ILM
Downloads: 22,988 (2 reviews)
|Journey to the Center of a Triangle - Bruce And Katharine Cornwell|
'Journey to the Center of a Triangle' (1976) 8m, dir. Bruce & Katharine Cornwell. Another fabulous film by the Cornwells, created on the Tektronics 4051 Graphics Terminal. Presents a series of animated constructions that determine the center of a variety of triangles, including such centers as circumcenter, incenter, centroid and orthocenter. The music is Bach's preludes 8 (Eb minor) and 12 (F minor) from the Well Tempered Clavier...
Keywords: mathematics; science
Downloads: 22,775 (5 reviews)
|Congruent Triangles - Bruce and Katharine Cornwell|
Bruce and Katharine Cornwell are primarily known for a series of remarkable animated films on the subject of geometry. Created on the Tektronics 4051 Graphics Terminal, they are brilliant short films, tracing Klee-like geometric shapes to intriguing music, including the memorable 'Bach meets Third Steam Jazz' musical score in ‘Congruent Triangles.’ In this melding of art and science, the Cornwells create a quasi-hypnotic take on a mathematical construct...
Keywords: mathematics, science
Downloads: 20,539 (5 reviews)
|Silent Snow, Secret Snow - Gene Kearney|
Alienation, angst, and schizophrenia are powerful themes addressed by Kearney in this forgotten masterpiece. From a story by Conrad Aiken.
Keywords: schizophrenia; teen angst
Downloads: 18,306 (16 reviews)
|Hangman - Les Goldman|
A cynical look at how humankind loves to feed others into the death machine, from a disturbing poem by Maurice Ogden, read by Herschel Bernardi. Shadows and shifting geometric planes lend a Chirico-like quality to Julian's animation. Great musical score by Serge Hovey. About the film, Steve Goldman writes: "Les Goldman was my father. Creating this film was one of the most important accomplishments of his life...
Keywords: animation; death; horror
Downloads: 17,487 (5 reviews)
|Inside Magoo - Steve Bosustow, Amer Cancer Society, Inc|
'Inside Magoo' (1960) 15, prod. Steve Bosustow. The nearsighted Mr. Magoo here experiences the seven danger signals of cancer and sees his doctor, even though as a Sagittarius, he feels he is not susceptible (Cancer, get it?). Notable for acted sequences with Jim Backus, producer Stephen Bosustow, and Scopitone star Joi Lansing as the nurse. Magoo goes to gets his colon scoped!
|Imaging the Hidden World: the Light Microscope - Bruce Russell|
To say Russell makes films on biology is sort of like saying Rodin threw some clay on a table and a few minutes later came up with a figure representative of a human. 'Light Microscope' starts out didactically (Russell was a former K-12 biology teacher) in instructing the student on proper microscope technique, then goes off into the hyperspace of lighting techniques, using light and colored filters, that make otherwise difficult-to-see phenomena visible...
Keywords: biology; science; volvox; hydra; amoeba
Downloads: 11,534 (3 reviews)
|The Shopping Bag Lady - Bert Salzman|
Set In Manhattan's Central Park, this film is the poignant story of a teenage girl's encounter with a homeless old woman (movingly portrayed by distinguished actress Mildred Dunnock) who carries all her belongings around in shopping bags. This encounter eventually leads to the girl's understanding of the problems of aging and the dignity of all individuals, regardless of their place in society. Actress Mildred Dunnock, who plays the homeless woman, was a former schoolteacher who didn't begin act...
Keywords: Bert Salzman; homeless; elderly
Downloads: 10,463 (9 reviews)
|The Stonecutter - Gerald McDermott|
The late Gerald McDermott made this, his first commercial film at the age of 19, an extremely complex animation short featuring approximately 2000 animation cels presented in six minutes. The production was handled by an uncredited Harrison Engle, later noted as a documentary filmmaker. Influenced by Klee and Matisse, McDermott used silk-screen as well as traditional painting techniques in crafting ethnographic folk tale animation shorts...
Keywords: Animation; Japan; folktale
Downloads: 9,617 (5 reviews)
|Magnet Laboratory, A - Richard Leacock|
In the hands of another director, the inner-workings of a magnet laboratory could have caused a whole classroom to fall asleep of boredom. No so when Leacock was hired to produce this twenty-minute version of lab mayhem. Try this: six researchers in a lab at MIT in the late 1950's show-off the power of electro-magnets, and in the process, accidentally set an experiment on fire(Leacock says he did a retake without the fire, but preferred the immediacy of the fire sequence and kept it in)...
Keywords: magnet; degauss; physics; science; PSSC; Leacock
Downloads: 9,223 (4 reviews)
|Centinelas del Silencio - Robert Amran|
The real star here is the late aerial photographer James Freeman, whose breathtaking helicopter shots of Mayan and Aztec ruins at sunrise and sunset won an Academy Award for this film in 1971. Although the English version was narrated by Orson Welles, the Spanish version, narrated by Ricardo Montalban, is in better keeping with the ethnic aspect of the film, and no knowledge of Spanish is needed to appreciate his dramatic impact...
Keywords: Maya; Aztec; helicopter; Chichen Itza; Monte Alban; Tulum; Toltec; Uxmal; Palenque
Downloads: 9,097 (2 reviews)
|Crisis in Levittown - Lee Bobker/Lester Becker|
The Black upper middle-class Myers family moves into all-white Levittown, PA in August, 1957, and are snubbed and mistreated, in this powerful landmark documentary showcasing racism in the United States.
Keywords: african-american; black; racism; housing; urban
|Shaw vs. Shakespeare I: The Character of Caesar - John Barnes|
This is the first film in Barnes' 'Shaw vs. Shakespeare' series, considered by experts to be among the finest educational films ever made. Here is wonderful introduction to Barnes as an insightful and witty interpreter of Shakespeare on film, the opening film of the triptych focusing on George Bernard Shaw’s belief that, although Shakespeare’s play was superior to his own, the treatment of the character of Caesar was not...
Keywords: Geoge Bernard Shaw; Shaw; Shakespeare; Moffat; Kiley; Grossman
|Dong Kingman - James Wong Howe|
This exceptional film shows painter Kingman at work in New York's Chinatown, shot by master cinematographer James Wong Howe.
Keywords: art; painting; Chinese
Downloads: 7,574 (1 review)
|Coulomb's Law - Richard Leacock|
Here, manic Princeton professor Eric Rogers hosts, continually removing and replacing his eyeglasses, ordering around lab assistants --- he forcefully breaks a glass test tube in the hands of an assistant to demonstrate the inelasticity of water --- and furiously pounds equations on a blackboard (Leacock says the scribblings must have lasted 45 minutes, in what must be one of the more necessary cuts in the history of educational film.) Rogers finally conducts an experiment with a young girl, pla...
Downloads: 7,557 (2 reviews)
|Facts About Projection - Robert Edmonds|
An old-timey set-up & projection techniques film, set in a school classroom. This film teaches the young projectionist how to put on a good show, and not trip over the cord while doing so.
Keywords: projector; 16mm; Bell & Howell
Downloads: 6,823 (2 reviews)
|Maya Are People - Les Mitchel|
Many explorer-adventurer hosts of historical/cultural films viewed their subjects as "objects" (e.g. C. Ernest Cadle and Carveth Wells), their colonialist attitudes seeping precariously through the safety-film. Not so the wonderful and forgotten Les Mitchel, who arrives in the Lacandon area of the Yucatan, shows the chief Obregon K’in (of Agua Azul village, Palenque) how to fire a pistol, takes him on a plane-ride to view his ancestral ruins at Palenque...
Keywords: Lacandon; Obregon; Palenque; Les Mitchel
Downloads: 6,808 (2 reviews)
|Sun Flight: the Myth of Daedalus and His Son, Icarus - Gerald McDermott|
Tha late Gerald McDermott was an exceptional animator who made only five short animated films before he changed careers and became a Caldecott Award-winning children's author. 'Sun Flight' has been out of distribution for years. For a biography and filmography, visit McDermott's AFA page at: www.afana.org/mcdermott.htm
Keywords: animation; myth
Downloads: 6,619 (2 reviews)
|Help, My Snowman's Burning Down - Carson "Kit" Davidson|
Fourteen international awards, including an Academy Award, Nomination and the Special Prize of the Jury, Cannes Intl Festival. Presents a surrealistic and humorous satire on the Madison Avenue image of the world through advertising. The terrific jazz soundtrack was done by Bob Brookmeyer and Gerry Mulligan, who was a friend of filmmaker Carson "Kit" Davidson. This film was restored courtesy the Academy Film Archive...
Keywords: experimental; jazz; dada; surrealism
Downloads: 6,609 (2 reviews)
|Symmetry - Philip Stapp|
'Symmetry' (1966) 10m, dir. Philip Stapp Stapp was one of the greatest animators working in the 1950-1975 era, using stylized, often pointillist abstract imagery, in a floating world sometimes surrealist, at other times reminiscent of Japanese "ukiyo-e" illustration. His spectacular 'Symmetry' is his greatest film, a fantasy of dancing images breaking apart, spinning, and converging. For more information on Stapp, visit: http://www.afana.org/stapp.htm
Downloads: 6,266 (1 review)
|Kienholz on Exhibit - June Steel|
Born in 1927 in the border area between Washington and Idaho, Kienholz moved to Los Angeles in 1953, where he began making a series of bas-reliefs with found material. Prior to his death in 1994, he was primarily known for his "Assembly Art" sculptures, consisting of mannequins, stuffed animals, and pieces of clothing, focusing on subjects such as controversial as bordellos, back seat sex, and abortion...
Keywords: art; los angeles
Downloads: 6,155 (2 reviews)
|Rhinoceros - Jan Lenica|
A animated version of Ionesco’s tale, a play on the theme of conformity.
Keywords: animation; poland
Downloads: 6,145 (2 reviews)
|African Pygmy Thrills - Eugene W. Castle|
Castle Films, whose series ‘The Adventure Parade’ resulted in a number of commercially exotic films on ethnic traditions and cultures, actually utilized authentic music in this film, instead of the boring orchestral scores that were more typical of the era. Although the continued use of the term "these little men", and the embarrassing attempt to comically portray an older member of the group as a cynic seems condescending to present-day sensibilities, the faithful recording of the building ...
Keywords: pygmy; Africa; Werner Herzog
Downloads: 5,870 (1 review)
|Fiddler, The - Tom Roades|
'The Fiddler' (1975) 20m, dir. Marshall Riggan. This amazing film showcases an elderly East Texas fiddle maker and his wife. After his hand-crafted fiddle is finished, we discover that he's an amazing country fiddler, too. This 'lost' film was produced by Riggan for a religious organization. Later, under new management, the organization apparently decided that the film was more profane than sacred, and discarded or destroyed all remaining prints.
Downloads: 5,843 (4 reviews)
|Modern Business Machines for Writing, Duplicating, and Recording - Teaching Aids Exchange|
An intriguing historical film, demonstrating many expensive business machines found in modern offices of the era, including electromatic and Chinese typewriters and machines for filming, stenciling, folding and lithographing. Among the machines shown are Diebold's Flofilm microfiche recorder, the Fileomatic Desk, the Pierce Electronic Wire Recorder, the Soundscriber with plastic disk, the Elliott Stencil Machine with Graphotype machine, the Davidson Duplicator for litho printing, the Davidson Fo...
Keywords: Chinese Typewriter; Fileomatic; Graphotype; IBM Model A; Stella Pajunas
Downloads: 5,796 (3 reviews)
|Farm Family in Winter. - Thomas G Smith|
Shows family life on a modern farm in winter. Describes the care and feeding of livestock kept on a farm in winter. Here, farm life continues at a vigorous pace, in spite of restrictions of inclement weather, as a farm family complete the work of harvest and prepare for the renewal of the growing cycle in spring. The story is told in first person by the grandfather, at Gerald "Red" Markham's farm near the town of Whitewater, Walworth County, Wisconsin...
|Me and You, Kangaroo|
In a touching tale a boy raises an orphaned baby kangaroo in the outback of Australia but due to events beyond his control is forced to return the animal to the wild. A film for animal lovers of all ages. Beautifully photographed and acted. A classic animal story. Awards: AUSTRALIA’S BEST CHILDREN’S FILM AWARD AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL “CINE GOLDEN EAGLE AWARD”
Keywords: Bert Salzman
Downloads: 5,473 (4 reviews)
|Picture In Your Mind - Philip Stapp|
Sent by the U.S. government as a participant in the Marshall Plan with a specific mission to assist the French in re-gearing their animation studios, Stapp discovered a Europe much-decimated by war, but in further danger of annihilation by nuclear weapons. Returning to the U.S., he produced this alarming-yet-hopeful film, replete with its lonely, Tanguy-inspired landscapes peopled with static figures casting long shadows across charcoal-colored plains...
Keywords: animation, Marshall Plan
Downloads: 5,370 (1 review)
|Je Parle Français, Lessons 1-13 - Milan Herzog|
The 'Je Parle Français' series of French Language Instruction films was filmed in 1960-61 and produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica Film's Milan Herzog in conjunction with Otterbein College professor La Velle Rosselot, and Georges Matoré, Dean of the Language & Civilization Dept, Sorbonne. Rosselot was the prime educational consultant and curriculum developer for the film project. Her father was a history professor at Otterbein, and her brother Gerald was one of the founders of Scientific Atlan...
Keywords: Encyclopedia Britannica; Milan Herzog; Language Instruction; French
|French and Indian War, The: Seven Years' War in America - William Deneen|
This film uses a large collection of paintings on the French and Indian War to offer a vivid and realistic picture of key episodes, places, and people. It explains some of the differences between French and English colonial policy and ways of life, depicting the battle for Quebec in detail, including the deaths of Montcalm and Wolfe.The script was written by noted novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard.
Keywords: french and indian war; US History; Encyclopedia Britannica
|Clown - Richard Balducci|
Along with Larry Yust's 'Lottery', 'Clown' was possibly one of the two best selling ed films ever made. On the surface, it's a cute kid & dog story. Underlying is a possible subtext that fascinates us every time we view the film, and makes for a satisfying, yet ultimately ambiguous ending. Gilou Pelletier is outstanding as the small boy, and the camera work by Guy Suzuki takes wonderful advantage of the terraces of Montmartre.
Keywords: Paris; Montmartre; Dog; blind
Downloads: 5,126 (2 reviews)
|Railway with a Heart of Gold - Carson "Kit" Davidson|
This film is an account of the Talyllyn Railway, a historic narrow-gauge slate carrier in Tywyn, Wales, and its operation by a preservation society who saved it from being sold for scrap. Although the release date is 1965, it was actually filmed in the early 1950s. Academic Film Archive of North America director Geoff Alexander visited the railway in June, 2009 as part of the process of preparing the film for uploading: "Opened in 1865, the Talyllyn railway was the first narrow-gauge steam railw...
Keywords: train; narrow gauge; locomotive; Talyllyn
Downloads: 5,013 (1 review)
|Japan - Miracle in Asia - William Deneen|
Explains how Japan's rapid industrial growth has influenced the way of life in the country and has affected the international political and economic position of the country. Suggests that Japan turned to industrialization to support a rapidly growing population on a small and relatively poor land area. Deneen shot the aerial shots himself alone, while piloting a single-engine aircfraft, pointing the camera out the window...
Keywords: Japan Asia, industrial
Downloads: 4,978 (1 review)
|Wild Men of the Kalahari - C. Ernest Cadle|
'Wild Men of the Kalahari' (1930) 30m, prod. C. Ernest Cadle. In one of the earliest "talking pictures" shot in South-West Africa (now Namibia), expedition leader and lecturer Dr. C. Ernest Cadle of the Cameron-Cadle expedition describes the Kung Bushmen as "among the most treacherous creatures on earth". He then "baited them as we would an animal" to gather them for camera shots, and noted their eating habits ("he doesn't chew, but simply swallows like a dog")...
Keywords: bushmen; kalahari; namibia; etosha; san; hoefler
Downloads: 4,849 (2 reviews)
|Music from Oil Drums - Toshi and Peter Seeger|
Long unavailable, this film presents Pete Seeger (who wrote a manual for playing steel drums) visiting steel drum makers and players in Trinidad. We found the process of tuning the pans particularly interesting.
Downloads: 4,836 (1 review)
|Death Valley - Paul Hoefler Productions|
A beautifully shot trip through the Death Valley of the late 1940s, including visits to the ghost town of Ryan, Zabriskie Point, the Harmony Borax Works, and Scotty's Castle.
Keywords: ryan; scotty's castle; harmony; borax; Zabriskie
Downloads: 4,796 (1 review)
|Close-up on the Planets - Charles L. Finance|
Using computer animation and pictures from NASA space missions, discusses the similarities and differences among the planets. Summarizes how the solar system was formed and why it is important to learn as much as possible about the other planets.
|Claudius: Boy of Ancient Rome (Latin Dialogue) - William Deneen|
A dramatization of a Roman boy's friendship with a slave in his father's household. Depicts, through the young boys' experiences and activities, the way of life and customs of ancient Rome. Some dialogue in Latin. This film was one of three made by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films' Bill Deneen utilizing the sets from Samuel Bronston's epic 'The Fall of the Roman Empire.' This 'Claudius' was actually one of two released concurrently by EB, one with and one without dialogue in Latin, and is exceedin...
Keywords: Encyclopedia Britannica Films; William Deneen; Samuel Bronston; Latin dialogue
|Valley of Heart's Delight|
A 'new' version of the original of 1925, touting Santa Clara Valley's agricultural roots. Here we see the Clapp's Baby Food factory, the American Can Company plant, FMC, San Jose Steel, and Moffett Field, all accessible via the old Monterey Highway, or after arrival on the Coast Daylight steam locomotive-driven train.
Keywords: San Jose; Santa Clara Valley; Coast Daylight; Southern Pacific; FMC; Moffett Field
|Unicycle: Looking at My World - Dan Bessie|
'Unicycle: Looking at My World' (1976) 15m, dir. Dan Bessie. The world of 15 year old unicyclist Tony Marienthal includes visits to assist the elderly, learning new juggling tricks, and trying to make it home for supper. The film is a wonderful, idyllic "day in the life" film of a teen-ager. It's also somewhat bittersweet, as Tony Marienthal, who wanted his baby son to see this film, died at the young age of 51...
|Homage à François Couperin (Butterflies) - Intl Film Foundation|
Homage à François Couperin (1978) 2m, dir. Philip Stapp. Also known as "Butterflies". A three-minute fantasy of butterflies and dragonflies cavorting amongst the pussywillows, Japanese-inspired animation accompanied by two variations on keyboard works by the Baroque composer. Uses a pointillist technique to provide a stroboscopic illusion where recognizable shapes become fluid abstractions, and where time is stretched to reveal the main patterns of the choreography...
Keywords: animation; Couperin; baroque; music
Downloads: 4,142 (4 reviews)
|Meaning of Time In Science, The - Milan Herzog|
Examines the concepts of the entropy principle and of astronomical time, the relation of subjective and external time, and the definition of a second. Includes demonstrations of scientific timepieces and of the cyclotron. Features producer Milan Herzog in cameo role as the director of a space project.
Keywords: afana; Herzog
Downloads: 4,103 (1 review)
|Encore un Hiver - Françoise Sagan|
This wonderful film focuses on an older woman waiting on a park bench on a cold winter day for a lover who returns every year. Directed by Françoise Sagan, author of Bonjour Tristesse.
Keywords: France; elderly; romance
Downloads: 4,035 (1 review)
|Comets: time capsules of the solar system - Charles L. Finance|
Combines beautiful animation sequences with live-action and documentary photography for a dramatic exploration of the role comets play in scientific research.